However, it had IE 6 on it. I needed to upgrade to IE 8. Easy, right? Nope.
Windows Update wasn’t working in IE6. NO UPGRADE.
The download link on the IE8 web page clicked to a download, but nothing downloaded – guess it didn’t support IE6 either. NO UPGRADE
I clicked around forever with no success. Maybe 30 minutes. Then I installed a security update to XP and it recommended IE7 – hallelujah! I followed that install and got IE7 working. Our apps worked and I moved on. (Ie8-less for now).
We all bitch about IE6, and while it’s a tiny percentage, Microsoft isn’t making it easy to kill off that browser. If I weren’t so motivated (and tech-saavy), we’d have another IE6 browser out there forever. Please MSFT, make it less frustrating to kill IE6, please test those flows for IE6 and get people off of it!
I’ve long known that getting into the big schools is the hardest part of the experience, but I’ve never looked at it this way:
It turns out that merely getting into Harvard is as good an indicator of future success as actually going. It turns out that being the sort of person that can invest the effort, conquer fear and/or raise the money to capture some of the elite trappings of visible success is what drives success, not the other way around.
Larry Ellison via Startup Quote.
Great quote, but easier said than done (by me) sometimes.
But — on the agencies spreadsheets — garbage inventory from garbage sites aggregated on garbage networks often shows a lower cost per click. Many web advertisers, even those that buy banners, treat it as a direct marketing medium.For premium media properties such as ours, this is a contest that should be avoided at all costs. Its a race to the bottom — for the lowest quality ads and the least valuable visitors.
So I got a spam email in my box today where the spammer wrapped the ad in the header/footer of a legit company (I’m seeing a lot more of this lately) so there’s a real corporate logo and real unsubscribe link, but yet it isn’t coming from that company.
Well, this spammer actually hotlinked the images off of the company’s server (instead of embedding a copy of the image). The smart company (Wellness Resources Inc.) just swapped out the image with their own message. See it here:
Kudos to the guys at Wellness Resources and I hope you all track them down.
I’m cleaning out my WordPress and came across a bunch of half written draft posts from when I was much more active in writing this blog. I don’t want to just delete them and lose the thought forever. So here are the partial thoughts for posterity.
Thanks for letting me share. Have you cleaning out your “I should blog about that” folder lately?
I know first hand that building a local or travel listings/review/recommendation site is extremely difficult. You are judged by the quality of your listings: are they comprehensive, are they up-to-date and looking at the community: are there enough reviews to make it interesting. As an industry, we suck.
Case in point: today GoodRec launched – my former co-worker Mihir Shah gave an amazing demo at TechCrunch 50 and it really made me want to use the service. It really seems slick and I think they’ve got a nice user experience approach to the problem. So I did what all users do to validate such a service: looked in my own neighborhood first to see how good it was. And sadly, I saw listings for 3 businesses that closed over a year ago and one that closed 2.5 years ago. Ugh – that’s a horrible first impression of their product and I’m guessing its not their fault – just licensed data from somewhere.
But how, as an industry, do we solve this problem? There are a bizillion little startups like mine and like GoodRec and we all have the same problem: how do you stay up on all these businesses? CitySearch and Yelp have gotten enough users to keep up to date on it, google tries to crawl their way around it and other businesses (like mine) just try to stay super focused and instead of listing every last place, only listing the biggies and places recommended by users.
Is there a solution? Should there be an “open directory” of local businesses? The big guys certainly see their database as being an asset to be guarded, but what if every site could leverage a giant database for free in exchange for giving data updates / closure reports back to the collective? Then couldn’t all these local services win or lose not on data, but on the community or quality of the service they offer.
What do you think? Is there an easy solution? The people that license this data have so far proven they can’t keep up – so how do we solve this?
I knew that Yahoo was growing up (and not necessarily in a good way) when we moved into our new campus and management cancelled “bagel day” and the free fruit. Yahoo had fallen on hard times and started to cut costs. The cafeteria had (bad) bagels and fruit for sale, so no biggie – right?
Cutting the fruit wasn’t a big deal to me – I wasn’t eating healthily, but for those that did – what a bad message to send.
But the real loss was Bagel Day; a great tradition – every Tuesday AM you would find people from all over the company surrounding the little wagon full of bagels. It was great and I got fat eating multiple bagels. But what was most fun was the social aspect. Lots of people chatting while waiting for a spot in the toaster. It was more than just free carbs, it was a way to connect. Ask any old Yahoo about bagel day and you are likely to get a smile.
Google has it’s own share of traditions, but one of the most publicized is how well they take care of employees. Free food, healthy snacks, drinks, candy and good childcare. They put a priority on making their people feel special.
Over dinner with a Googler (a father of a newborn), I heard frustration that he couldn’t afford the new only-for-the-millionaires childcare (that Valleywag covered here).
And today, also on Valleywag, I read about Google’s food cutbacks. The cutbacks make sense on paper, just have dinner in fewer buildings – why do you need 10 dinner choices. Valleywag again: Perks: Dinner saved for Google’s geeks. But I see this as the first step on a long road – utilization studies of which snack stands get the least usage, a charge for “premium” food maybe – doesn’t really matter. It’s just Google saying to their employees “our good treatment of you has its limits”.
Now, I’m not saying Google’s going out of business anytime soon, but I think it’s another inflection point in their growth. We’ve already seen lots of “the first wave” leave to do their own thing. Now, somebody is actually being “fiscally responsible” and looking for places to trim excess costs. Give it a couple of years and we’ll see more and more people complaining that “it’s just not as fun to work there anymore”. A natural evolution in any company, but a sad day for Googlers.
please be patient with any glitches as I move from Yahoo! Web Hosting to Joyent. See you over there!
Last week, GayCities was mentioned in Hilary Howard’s Comings and Goings column in the Sunday Travel section of the New York Times. Unsurprisingly, traffic spiked immensely and many more people were introduced to the site than ever before. Obviously, I’m thrilled at the jump in traffic and overall traffic has stayed at a much higher level since our PR campaign in June.
But what is most interesting was the quality of the traffic. On that Sunday more users submitted reviews, blog post comments and new listing submissions than any other day in our history. And it was significantly more than proportional to the traffic increase. And these reviews were thoughtful, detailed and of high quality (not the “drive by shooting” type of reviews we’ll often see from Google searchers who land on the site).
This phenomenon isn’t new. People have talked about how Yahoo! Buzz has not only outpaced Digg in terms of traffic driven to a site, but that the quality of these more mainstream users is higher: they comment more and join a more thoughtful conversation. In many ways, people in the valley think that getting “dugg” or being written about on TechCrunch is of value – and for our launch it did help quite a bit, but I’m guessing we got a lot more people that are jaded by technology and just come by for a “looksee”. Our users from the Times were much more targeted and actually passionate about travel – clearly a better fit for a travel site and a good place to target future outreach.
And one last surprise, people who work in travel actually read travel publications. We got a number of sales leads from the Times – people looking to advertise with us. From TechCrunch, we got a lot of people trying to sell stuff to us.
Has your experience been the same?